Category Archives: Comics

Tintin the movie

There’s a trailer here, for all you Tintin fans… Yikes!!

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vote in the Dandy poll – purleeaase!

If you’ve done it already – please do it again. If you havent done it yet, dont forget to do it – if you dont read the dandy and couldnt care less – please dont let that stop you. It’s become personal now – Dare devil dad must win.

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Vote Daredevil Dad in the Dandy

Even if you are not enlightened enough to read the Dandy, there are various reasons why you should vote for Daredevil Dad in the Dandy readers poll.

Some compelling reasons to vote for Daredevil Dad.

1) He is a middle aged man, who has the nerve to dress like Evel Kneivel.

2) He is written and drawn by the comic book legend Steve Beckett.

3) He has rocket powered roller skates.

4) Daredevil dad could take Desperate Dan to the cleaners, and probably would do so via a zip wire elaborately constructed using a washing line.

5) There are simply not enough Daredevil Dads in this world.

So head on over to http://www.dandy.com and vote for Daredevil Dad today, and while you’re out and about on t’internet, head over to Steve Beckett’s blog (http://sjbeckettdesign.blogspot.com/)  for previews of his amazing work.

Sorry for pasted links, WordPress is mucking me around, and I simply can’t be faffed putting in the html. Too busy voting.

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Zeke

I just received some promo images for our new comic book, ZEKE, from smokin’ hot comic book artist Steve Beckett. The comic is moving along very nicely, and if all goes to plan we’ll be launching it in October with with a month long exhibition, featuring some special life size artwork, along with other smaller scale stuff.

Anyhow, this is just a quick post to give you an insight into what we’ve been up to…

(c) Undercurrent Comics, 2010.


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Story writing workshops

One of the things that has been keeping me occupied over the last few weeks has been a series of story writing workshops which I was commisioned to deliver to a load of primary schools in the region.

The children are mixed ability year 5 & 6, and with up to 40 kids in a class, it has been something of a challenge, especially for someone who is not a teacher!

However, I have developed what I think is a pretty good session, well two sessions actually, themed around Sherlock Holmes and detectives. I won’t give all my secrets away, but lets say the morning’s worth of activities include dressing up, cracking codes, working together to solve a ‘whodunnit’ and much more – all in the name of understanding how a story can be created.

The picture above is ‘Mr Bryson’, one of the characters from the whodunnit, drawn of course by my very own partner in crime Steve Beckett. Actually, Steve’s just finished working on a comic recently – absolutely outrageously un-PC stuff – check it out.

Back to the story writing… The idea is that these children will be submitting stories for a competition run by North Lincolnshire council, the winner of which will have his or her story illustrated “in the popular manga style”…

Yeah – me and Steve will be doing that bit too.

I’ve been really helped actually by doing a Ptlls course, well in fact I’m still doing it, it’s a course in really basic teaching, aimed at those who work in the ‘life long learning’ sector, which I also do these days. Having never had any kind of training on lesson planning, schemes of work and so on before, I found this a very helpful set of terms to kind of hang my ideas on. So using that language I got to work on developing a story writing lesson or two, and found that it came out really well – at least the kids seem to think so, and so far all the teachers have been positive, although they might just have been glad that I was leaving :)

Anyway, I’ve got another workshop tomorrow, time to make sure I’ve got all my worksheets in place, and to check I know where I’m going I suppose… no, I still havent got a sat nav, maps rule.

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Normal service is about to recommence

Good news today, my wrist is all healed up – what a relief! I no longer have a cast on, only a rather medical looking ‘splint’ to be worn when needed.

Now I can type again, and as of tomorrow will be getting back to work (and blogging) proper. Unfortunately I now have a very long to-do list, but I’m sure I’ll get through it eventually.

At the moment I’m also awaiting the arrival of my new (second hand) bike, which is to replace my old mountain bike which doesnt seem to have healed itself over the last few weeks. The good thing is that the insurance has paid for the bike to be replaced, and because I’ve bought second hand (thanks ebay!) I’ve ended up with a better bike than I started off with. Just hope I can remember how to ride it ;)

And right now, as I type – rather gingerly it must be said – I’m taking the opportunity to listen to the Charlie Gillett tribute show that was broadcast over on Radio 3 recently. It’s a really great show, and a fulsome tribute to a wonderful broadcaster. Check it out if you have any interest in music that isn’t mainstream.

As I listen I am also looking forward to WOMAD in the summer, from where I hope to be doing some live blogging. The lineup is looking really good already, more on that some other time.

Steve and I have also been working on plans for a big exhibition of comic art work in the autumn, we’re really excited about it – more details as they emerge…

Last but not least to mention, the garden, its a wonderful time of year on the allotment, lots of greenery everywhere. I popped down to do some watering earlier and came home with cabbage, spinach, asparagus and radishes. Fortunately it seems that not all of my potatoes were too badly affected by the frost last week, so the future is looking bright for them after all – what a relief  :)

So as of tomorrow morning its back to my portfolio of work after a four week hiatus – rather looking forward to it actually.

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Robert Crumb’s Genesis – a review

I recently got a copy of Robert Crumb’s illustrated book of Genesis for review. I’m not going to print my whole review here, it’s going elsewhere, but I am going to give a quick/short form review as I know lots of people will be interested in the book.

Of course Crumb is a justly famous artist, his mastery of pencil and pen is amazing, and the artwork in this version of the Genesis text is incredible.

Moreover he doesnt take any liberties with the text, it’s basically ‘as is’ (albeit with the mandatory additions of chapters, and the occasional Crumb footnote).

It’s a beautifully illustrated book, and the illustration is very well researched, adding a new dimension to the text in places.

My only grumble with the book is that in my opinion Crumb has over-sexualised some of the female characters. I think he does this to try and emphasise their power and importance, but I think the pneumatic breasts and rounded buttocks which appear clothed and unclothed as the the stories demand, are at times unneccesarily exagerated.

Textual literalists may also complain that while Crumb doesnt add or subtract from the words, he does add some new layers of meaning (although well researched of course) via facial expressions and background contexts in certain scenes.

In all, an excellent book, really beautifully drawn. There are issues surrounding sexualisation, and in my opinion this is a consistent issue with Crumb, but if you can ignore that, then there is the real possibility that this will open up the ancient and awesome book of Genesis in a new way for the reader, and that is always welcome.

Parental advisory: contains sexual and violent content.

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Congrats to Steve

I have been meaning to say, a big congratulations to SAM119 artist Steve Beckett, who has been working on his first Beano strip. As a lifelong fan of the Beano, its a great thrill for him to be able to do some work for it – all being well Steve’s work should appear in the 2011 Beano annual. Well done mate.

More preview artwork from the new SAM119 title ‘Zeke’ soon I hope.

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Comic recommendations

Garen Ewing’s Rainbow Orchid volume 1 has been out for a while, but I’m just about to buy it for my eldest daughter’s birthday.

Rainbow Orchid

Rainbow Orchid

I bought one of the original Rainbow Orchid comics from Garen at a comic con some years ago, it’s brilliant. If you like Tintin or similar stuff, this will be up your street.

For a look inside the book, and a preview of volume two, which is inked and ready, head over to Garen’s website.

My other recommendation is this nifty Conan Doyle reworking by Ian Edgington, The hound of the Baskervilles is a great tale, and it seems that its translation into Graphic Novel format has worked well.

Hound of the Baskervilles

Hound of the Baskervilles

Nice artwork by INJ Culbard, who has just finished working on Study in Scarlet, the second of four Holmes stories the pair have planned. Check out his website for some previews of the artwork, very nice indeed.

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Charlie Brooker on the election

Charlie Brooker says that the republican presidential campaign was so nasty it could only have been orchestrated by skeletor.  Which gets top marks for innovative He-Man reference, and element of truth.  Nice ending note about zombies too.

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